We Dress Like Housewives

My father has turned into a sexist jackass. He’s always had the jackass part covered, but until Saturday, I didn’t realize he was also a 50s throwback.

We were on the phone the other day, discussing TCBIM. I mentioned that TCBIM had been working a lot and my dad said he really admired him because he was such a hard worker (it’s true – TCBIM has many faults, but he works like a demon). I agreed and out of the blue, my dad says “You shouldn’t be making any demands on him. When he gets home you should have dinner on the table for him. You don’t work, so you shouldn’t be asking him to do anything.”

Can you hold on? I have to go find my ass because I just laughed it off.

Dinner on the TABLE? I don’t work???! I don’t get paid, but Jesus H. Christ, do I work. Come to my house one of these days, dad. Let me show you how little “work” I do all day.

Sweet suffering mother of fuck. Who says shit like that these days? I work my ass off (when it’s not being deluged, of course). And TCBIM isn’t home enough for me to make demands on him. He’s always working. Which is fine. It’s not great, but we need the money and he enjoys his work, which is good. We don’t get much time together, but we make the most of it when we do have a free day.

I just don’t understand where the comment came from. He was brought up that way, of course, since he was born in 1937, but my mother wasn’t like that. She didn’t have dinner on the table when my dad walked in the door. She kept the house relatively clean and stayed home with my sister and me until I was about 10, but it was by no means a Father Knows Best kind of house. And his second wife, my stepmonster, certainly makes him fetch and carry. She’s got a houseboy, basically, and she orders him around like he’s some kind of imbecilic servant.

Perhaps he wants TCBIM to live the life that he would have liked to have lived. It’s not going to happen, though. I don’t think I should have to be the obedient, subservient wife. I think marriage is a partnership. It’s never 50/50, no matter how much I’d like it to be. There’s an ebb and flow to it. Right now, I’m doing more around-the-house stuff than he does. Last year, it was pretty much equal. A few years ago, he did more. It works, for the most part, with some hitches and hissy fits on both our parts, but it works.

It won’t work if I become this passive, placid little cow, though. I can’t do that, I can’t become someone I’m not. I’m kind of surprised that my dad even asked me to do that.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joke
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 06:22:00

    “…or has the world always been like this and I’ve been too wrapped up in myself to notice?”-J.

    Reply

  2. daysgoby
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 08:07:00

    My mother keeps zinging me with doozies like that – I can’t tell if she’s had these feelings all along, or if she thinks I’m ‘adult’ enough to hear them now…of course, she did go and get all republican on me, so who knows….

    Reply

  3. LauraJ
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 08:22:00

    I was a placid little cow. I was the subservient little housewife. I did have meals ready when he came home from work. (*shivers in rememberence) It is what was expected of me, I didn’t know any better. Then we had a baby. A sick baby. And I changed. I was the baby’s servant, he needed me. Papa didn’t like it much. I left. I see where your dad is coming from, still tell him to watch tv! Women aren’t like that anymore! Smart women I mean! You know my ex was like your father, and he was born in 1972!!

    Reply

  4. Oh, The Joys
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 09:42:00

    You Dad stepped off the reality plane and fell down, down, down…

    Reply

  5. Anonymous
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 10:23:00

    What I find hard to believe is that he’d want his DAUGHTER to be subservient, in favor of that subservience providing his son-in-law with an easier time of it. Most daddies want their girls to be the exception, to be the one to charge forward and declare that they can be anything. Weird. Andrea (http://littlebalddoctors.wordpress.com)

    Reply

  6. bubandpie
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 12:48:00

    In all seriousness? Your dad needs to spend a day doing what you do. Because you’re being pushed close to your breaking point these days, and that comment is so not kosher.

    Reply

  7. EC
    Oct 25, 2006 @ 15:30:00

    Hey! I found your blog through Chicky Chicky Baby (well through the comments on The Departed), and I have to say I love it! First, you’re from Mass, which is where I grew up, so I can totally relate to the Bubblah, the packie, and everything else you mentioned on the comments, lol. I moved to RI in my late 20’s and then NC 2 years ago and I so miss the Mass accent. Especially here in NC! If I hear y’all one more time I think I may just scream!! So, I’m into anyones blogs who uses wicked as much as I do ;)But I digress…I think what your dad said was hysterical. Sometimes what they want in their life and don’t get turns into what your life should be, lol. But to all of a sudden say something like this… I’m assuming he had a mental lapse in judgement for just that one moment, lol. So, again, I’ve made my comments longer than most people’s posts so I’ll be off now! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog 🙂

    Reply

  8. Beck
    Oct 26, 2006 @ 14:46:00

    Ack.That’s awful.I have to say that people have really outdone themselves in the moronic statement department since I became a SAHM – and on both sides of the fence too. Either I should be doing more for Noble Husband (and I do A LOT. I do have supper ready when he gets home every night, because he works LONG hours and he’s tired.) or I am wasting my big bouncy brains on menial labour and should get back into the workplace, pronto.Sigh.

    Reply

  9. kittenpie
    Oct 27, 2006 @ 13:38:00

    Gah! Wow. My parents are the other end – I occasionally get snide comments about being so traditional and predictable, because I you know, got married and had a kid. like them. Parents. Oh wait – our kids will be saying this stuff about us one day too, right? Oy.

    Reply

  10. graymama
    Nov 01, 2006 @ 16:38:00

    Interesting that your dad is houseboy, and he wants you to be a housegirl

    Reply

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